Feb. 15, 2013
Site: Berkeley, Calif. (Evans Diamond)
Score: California 5, Michigan 4 (11 innings)
Records: U-M (0-1), Cal (1-0)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 16 -- at California (Berkeley, Calif.), 1 p.m. PST
BERKELEY, Calif. -- The University of Michigan baseball team took California into extra innings during the season opener Friday afternoon (Feb. 15) at Evans Diamond, but fell 5-4 in the 11th. Junior Michael O'Neill (Powell, Ohio/Olentangy Liberty) and sophomore Kevin White (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield) had two hits apiece and sophomore Trent Szkutnik (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) struck out five in three innings on the mound.
Cal's Mike Reuvekamp reached second to open the bottom of the 11th on a dropped pop up. Brian Celsi tried to sacrifice Reuvekamp over to third, but he reached for a bunt single, putting runners at the corners. Michigan walked Derek Campbell to load the bases and brought in a fifth infielder, but Cal's Andrew Knapp singled sharply up the middle for the walk-off win.
Michigan took a 1-0 lead in the second, as White led off the inning with a single to center. Sophomore Zach Zott (Lake Orion, Mich./Lake Orion) moved him up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Junior Cole Martin (Bay City, Mich./John Glenn) and freshman Jack Sexton (Goldens Bridge, N.Y./Fordham Prep) both walked and with two outs and sophomore Dylan Delaney (Woodland Hills, Calif./Chaminade) took a ball on a full count to force in White for the early advantage. After freshman Jacob Cronenworth (St. Clair, Mich./St. Clair) made a grab on a liner to save a run in the bottom of the second, the Wolverines tacked on another run in top of the third. O'Neill led off the inning with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a bunt single from freshman Travis Maezes (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) and scored on a White double-play groundout.
Cal responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Celsi led off the inning with a single. He went to second as Campbell singled on a bunt to third. Devon Rodriguez and Chris Paul then had back-to-back singles to bring in two runs.
U-M retook the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring a pair of runs. Martin led off the inning with an infield single. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a single by Cronenworth. Sexton brought in Martin with a ground out to third and Cronenworth scored as senior Patrick Biondi (Woodhaven, Mich./Divine Child) doubled to straightaway center field. The Golden Bears answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth on a Campbell single up the middle.
Cal tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Celsi singled with one away. With two outs, Szkutnik walked Knapp. Rodriguez hit the first pitch to right and Celsi just slid in safely after a throw from O'Neill.
Senior Ben Ballantine (Napa, Calif./Napa) earned the Opening Day start and went 2.1 innings with five hits, two runs and a strikeout. Senior/junior Logan McAnallen (DeWitt, Mich./DeWitt) came in and gave up just one run in 3.2 innings of relief. Szkutnik allowed an earned run and four hits in the three innings of work and was tagged with the loss.
Celsi and Knapp had three hits apiece for Cal. Ryan Mason picked up the win in relief, striking out four in 1.2 innings.
Michigan and California continue the three-game set tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 16) with first pitch at Evans Diamond at 1 p.m. PST.
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423